No toasts in Lancashire for £1,000 aid for pubs this Christmas

A Lancashire-based business support group has blasted the Government’s £1,000 grants to pubs as small beer.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 12:30 pm

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that £1,000, is to be made available for pubs in England that have seen footfall collapse under the new tiered restrictions, Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Pubs are facing a dark and difficult winter ahead and ahead of the new restrictions coming into force tomorrow, we need to see action if we are to save the nation’s pubs from collapse.

“Those so called ‘wet pubs’ that predominantly only sell alcoholic drinks have been left high and dry about how they are going to survive during what should be a normally busy and bustling festive period.

“Unless pubs in Tiers 2 and 3 are able to offer substantial meals or takeaway services, they face little prospect of any December uplift in takings, and it’s critically important that the government addresses this shortfall sooner rather than later.

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The latest Government aid to pubs, £1,000 has been described as small beer

“But this announcement simply does not go far enough at resolving this problem for wet pubs. The proposed funds from the Government hardly scratch the surface and we need to see this figure quadrupled at a bare minimum if it is going to have any genuine positive impact for the businesses affected.

“These funds would only cover the cost of a single keg of beer and very little more, which will come as little comfort to pubs who churn out multiple kegs a day during the festive period.

“Not only are pubs under the cosh, but suppliers too who have seen orders cancelled and put on hold until normality resumes, which is why further support for these groups is needed urgently.

“These have been incredibly difficult times for all small businesses across the country, and the government needs to produce funds and responses that genuinely save jobs, businesses and livelihoods rather than just act as a temporary sticking plaster.

Mike Cherry

“The next few weeks, for many, are normally the busiest of the entire year, and we need to see a pro-business government act now, before it’s too late.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing the aid on Tuesday said: "Pubs are at the heart of communities across the country and they have been among the businesses which have suffered the most during the pandemic.

"While we can’t make up for all the trade they will lose over Christmas, I hope this new £1000 grant – on top of the furlough, VAT and business rates relief and existing grants, goes some way to help them weather the economic storm."

The payment will be a one-off for December and will be paid on top on the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses.

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